LONG SAULT, Ontario – The Long Sault Pharmacy officially opened its new Telemedicine Walk-in Clinic On Saturday, July 7.
The clinic will be open Tuesdays to Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Patients will video conference with a physician, and a physician’s assistant will accompany the patients in person to assist with all consultations. The consultations will take place in a clinic room, and a self-registration kiosk is available in the waiting area.
Bryan Haley, owner of the Long Sault Pharmacy and Ingleside Pharmacy, would like to thank the Township of South Stormont and their Community Improvement Plan for a generous grant of $10,000 to help build the facility.
Haley decided to start the Telemedicine Walk-in Clinic in Long Sault because of local accessibility issues involving physicians. He believes these clinics exist in Ottawa and Akwesasne as well.
“We found there was a real issue with accessibility in the area,” said Haley. “I constantly have people asking me if I know of any family physicians accepting patients.”
Haley also recognizes that a lot of patients who do have family doctors might have to travel to see them, and they aren’t always able to get an appointment right away. He’s hoping this clinic will alleviate that strain of long appointment wait times.
The doctors that will be consulted through the clinic are based all over Ontario, with a large percentage residing in Toronto. The doctors are a part of the Appletree Medical Group.
“Another reason why I took this approach is because I kind of wanted to think outside of the box, too,” said Haley. “There’s a lot of active groups that are trying to recruit physicians, and that’s great. But I thought if I tried a different approach, that might meet that need a bit better. There is also the option down the road to actually convert that space into a full clinic and have a doctor physically there.”
The clinic is geared towards assisting minor ailments. A list of issues that the Telemedicine Walk-in Clinic can likely help with is present in the waiting area.
“It’s not a replacement for a family physician,” said Haley. “Ideally, everyone would have a family physician, and have ready access to them. But that’s not the situation we’re in right now, and I thought this would be a good way to address that.”
“These types of enterprises are very important to small communities like Long Sault,” said Mayor of South Stormont, Jim Bancroft.
“I am very pleased to have this in the community,” said Guy Lauzon, MP for Stormont, Dundas and South Glengarry. “Thinking outside of the box with things like this, maybe we can continue to give top health care and still be able to pay the bills.”
Jim McDonell, MPP for Stormont, Dundas and South Glengarry told attendees at the grand opening a story concerning his neighbour, who fell and hurt her wrist. According to McDonell, she waited for over seven hours in an emergency room to get a referral for an x-ray. McDonell believe this clinic will be useful for situations like that.
Aside from the new clinic, the Long Sault Pharmacy offers many services. Haley recently implemented MyDNA Pharmacogenomic Testing, which assess how individuals’ genes process certain medications, helping to determine what medication someone should be taking and how much. There is also a health and fitness test offered, which will allow staff to recommend a diet based on how individuals’ bodies break down fats and cholesterols, and other factors.